Why Your Waist Circumference Matters 100x More Than What You Weigh

What you weigh can matter but only to a certain extent. Let's look at your waist circumference (well...you look at yours and I'll look at mine!).

Waist Circumference (AKA “Belly Fat”):

Have you heard of body shape descriptions as being like an “apple” or a “pear”? The apple is round around the middle (often referred to as belly fat or beer belly) and the pear is rounder around the hips/thighs.

That’s what we're talking about here.

Do you know which shape is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnoea, blood sugar issues (e.g. insulin resistance and diabetes) and heart issues (high blood pressure, blood fat, and arterial diseases).

Yep – that apple!

And it's not because of the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat that you may refer to as a “muffin top”. The health risk is actually due to the fat inside the abdomen covering the liver, intestines and other organs there.

This internal fat is called “visceral fat” and that's where a lot of the problem actually is. It's this “un-pinchable” fat.

The reason the visceral fat can be a health issue is because it releases fatty acids, inflammatory compounds, and hormones that can negatively affect your blood fats, blood sugars, and blood pressure.

And the apple-shaped people tend to have a lot more of this hidden visceral fat than the pear-shaped people do.

So as you can see where your fat is stored is more important that how much you weigh.

Am I an apple or a pear?

It's pretty simple to find out if you're in the higher risk category or not. The easiest way is to just measure your waist circumference with a measuring tape.

Grab a measure and do it now. The tape should be level with your belly button. Make sure it’s not too tight, it’s level and that you’re not breathing in.

For women, if your waist is 35” or more you could be considered to have “abdominal obesity” and be in the higher risk category. Pregnant ladies are exempt, of course.

For men the number is 40”.

Of course this isn't a diagnostic tool. There are lots of risk factors for chronic diseases. Waist circumference is just one of them.

If you have concerns please speak to your doctor.


If you’re looking for help to lose weight or reduce your belly fat in a healthy, sustainable way with plant-based foods then head over to my Facebook group. Designed to help you reach your healthy eating and weight loss goals in a welcoming and supportive environment.

I post recipes, videos, advice and tips, plus answer any questions from the community.

This is the also the place to share your healthy plant-based food recipes and ideas and to support each other.

Join us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/loseweighttheplantbasedway and say hi!


Following a whole plant-based foods diet can certainly help. Here are a few tips to help you reduce some belly fat:

● Eat more fibre. Fibre helps reduce belly fat in a few ways. First of all it helps you feel full and also helps to reduce the amount of calories you absorb from your food. The great news is a wholefoods plant-based diet can realty help with this! Some examples of high-fibre foods are wholegrains, quinoa and buckwheat, peas, beans and pulses, veggies, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli and carrots, flax and chia seeds, avocado, and fruits such as berries, pears and oranges.

● Add more plant protein to your day. Protein reduces your appetite and makes you feel fuller longer. It also has a high TEF (thermic effect of food) compared with fats and carbs and ensures you have enough of the amino acid building blocks for your muscles.

● Ditch added sugars. This means ditch the processed sweetened foods especially those sweet drinks (even 100% pure juice).

● Move more. Get some aerobic exercise. Lift some weights. Walk and take the stairs. It all adds up.

● Stress less! Elevated levels in the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase appetite and drive abdominal fat.

● Get more sleep. Try making this a priority and seeing how much better you feel (and look).

High fibre side dish: Garlic Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4

450 g Brussels sprouts (washed, ends removed, halved)

2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)

2 tsps extra virgin olive oil

2 tsps fresh lemon juice

dash salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200C.

In a bowl toss the sprouts with garlic, oil, and lemon juice. Spread on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper.

Bake for about 15 minutes. Toss.

Bake for another 10 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy!

Tip: Brussels sprouts contain the fat-soluble bone-loving vitamin K. You may want to eat them more often.

Don’t forget to check out my Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/loseweighttheplantbasedway, a community where you can share recipes and ideas and support each other. Come on over and say hi. We would love to welcome you!

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